I'm trying to learn how to utilize .DWG grading files I get from my engineers, can someone with AutoCAD answer a question for me?

Hey guys. I am doing some visualizations for a large subdivision that is on a large hill and has lots of grading for both the road and the home pads.

I got the topo .dwg files from him but my Sketchup Pro doesn’t want to import it. Says “import failed.”

My question is, do you have to do something special when exporting grading from AutoCAD to SU? Perhaps he has included other layers when he saved it that SU is not liking?

What should I tell him to do in order to get ONLY the topo lines?

Ideally, I would like to get the entire site’s finish grade imported from AutoCAD as contour lines that I could then apply sandbox tools to.

Is this possible?

What version of SketchUp are you using? Your profile doesn’t say.

What version is the AutoCAD file? You might have him save the AutoCAD file out as an older version and see what you get.

Hey Dave,

Sorry about that, made the changes to my profile. I am currently using 2018 SU Pro.

Is saving to an older version of AutoCAD an easy thing for them to do? As it is in SU.

Also, is there anything else I can ask him to do specifically with the file, to help the chances of it importing cleanly into SU? The problem is I don’t know AutoCAD, and don’t know the terminology.

I am also starting on a new hotel project and would really like to make getting a clean file from various engineers ironed out so I can hit the ground running upon them approving the proposal.

Most likely saving it back to something earlier than AutoCAD 2018 is all that is needed. There’ll likely be some entities that won’t get imported but SketchUp’s importer will figure that out. Give it a go and see what happens.

I agree with DaveR. There are a few other things I would recommend trying but not without confirming version compatibility first. I set my AutoCAD to always save as version2007 as that was and old common stable release and ensures everyone can open it. Do you have AutoCAD or do you have to request a new version everything you need something done? Because Iif you don’t have it, I can’t imagine the engineers doing the proper clean up for your use in SU.

I have this problem with DWG files quite often.

You can use a free program like draftsight to open the DWG and then just save as an older version. Saves having to go back to the person who gave you the file.

If you upload the DWG I could have a look later

As others have said it may well be the version of the Autocad file that is causing the issue. I often encounter this. You could ask for it to be resaved as an older version, however you can also use the free Autodesk DWG Trueview software to convert it to an older version (https://www.autodesk.co.uk/products/dwg).
The process is simple; open the programme, click on the DWG convert icon, navigate to the file, choose which version to convert to e.g. 2007, then click convert.

Once you have it converted and imported into SketchUp, you can switch off all the layers except the contour lines to run the sandbox tool.

I see Shaun beat me to it! Draftsight will do the same thing.

Hey, when i creat topo surfaces from autocad files i use splines across the topo points in a 3d autocad file. If there is a lot of info in the drawing (had issues with survey files that have random geometry a billion miles out in autocad oblivion, zoom extents in autocad to check) I copy only the topo lines to a new cad file. Import the new file to sketchup, keep it super lite and simple… then sand box. Using autocad for mac 2017 and skp pro 2018.